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Sexual Offences Act 1956

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Sexual Offences Act 1956

1956 CHAPTER 69 4 and 5 Eliz 2

An Act to consolidate (with corrections and improvements made under the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Act 1949) the statute law of England and Wales relating to sexual crimes, to the abduction, procuration and prostitution of women and to kindred offences, and to make such adaptations of statutes extending beyond England and Wales as are needed in consequence of that consolidation.

[2nd August 1956]

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Commencement Information

I1Act wholly in force at 1.1.1957 see s. 56

Part IE+W+S+N.I. Offences, and the Prosecution and Punishment of Offences

Intercourse by force, intimidation, etc.E+W

F11 Rape of woman or man.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F12 Procurement of woman by threats.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F13 Procurement of woman by false pretences.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F14 Administering drugs to obtain or facilitate intercourse.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Intercourse with girls under sixteenE+W

F15 Intercourse with girl under thirteen.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F16Intercourse with girl between thirteen and sixteen. E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Intercourse with defectivesE+W

F17 Intercourse with defective.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F2E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F39 Procurement of defective.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

IncestE+W

F310 Incest by a man.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F311 Incest by a woman.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Unnatural offencesE+W

F312 Buggery. E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

F313 Indecency between men. E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2S. 13 amended as to mode of trial by Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c. 43, SIF 82), Sch. 1 para. 23(b)

C3s. 13 amended by Sexual Offences Act 1967 (c. 60), ss. 1, 2, 4 (3), 7, 9 (2)

AssaultsE+W

F314 Indecent assault on a woman.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F315 Indecent assault on a man.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F316 Assault with intent to commit buggery.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

AbductionE+W

F317 Abduction of woman by force or for the sake of her property.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F4E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F519 Abduction of unmarried girl under eighteen from parent or guardian.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F520 Abduction of unmarried girl under sixteen from parent or guardian.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F521 Abduction of defective from parent or guardian.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Prostitution, procuration etc.E+W

F522 Causing prostitution of women.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F523 Procuration of girl under twenty-one.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F524 Detention of woman in brothel or other premises.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F525 Permitting girl under thirteen to use premises for intercourse.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F526Permitting girl between thirteen and sixteen to use premises for intercourse. E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F527 Permitting defective to use premises for intercourse.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

28 Causing or encouraging prostitution of, intercourse with, or indecent assault on, girl under sixteen.E+W

[F5(1)It is an offence for a person to cause or encourage the prostitution of, or the commission of unlawful sexual intercourse with, or of an indecent assault on, a girl under the age of sixteen for whom he is responsible.

(2)Where a girl has become a prostitute, or has had unlawful sexual intercourse, or has been indecently assaulted, a person shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to have caused or encouraged it, if he knowingly allowed her to consort with, or to enter or continue in the employment of, any prostitute or person of known immoral character.

[F6(3)The persons who are to be treated for the purposes of this section as responsible for a girl are (subject to subsection (4) of this section)—

(a)her parents;

(b)any person who is not a parent of hers but who has parental responsibility for her; and

(c)any person who has care of her.

(4)An individual falling within subsection (3)(a) or (b) of this section is not to be treated as responsible for a girl if—

(a)a residence order under the Children Act 1989 is in force with respect to her and he is not named in the order as the person with whom she is to live; F7...

(b)a care order under that Act is in force with respect to her.]

(5)If, on a charge of an offence against a girl under this section, the girl appears to the court to have been under the age of sixteen at the time of the offence charged, she shall be presumed for the purposes of this section to have been so, unless the contrary is proved.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F529 Causing or encouraging prostitution of defective.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F530 Man living on earnings of prostitution.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F531 Woman exercising control over prostitute.E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

SolicitationE+W

F532 Solicitation by men. E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Suppression of brothelsE+W

33 Keeping a brothel. E+W

It is an offence for a person to keep a brothel, or to manage, or act or assist in the management of, a brothel.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

[F833AKeeping a brothel used for prostitutionE+W

(1)It is an offence for a person to keep, or to manage, or act or assist in the management of, a brothel to which people resort for practices involving prostitution (whether or not also for other practices).

(2)In this section “prostitution” has the meaning given by section 51(2) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.]

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Amendments (Textual)

34 Landlord letting premises for use as brothel. E+W

It is an offence for the lessor or landlord of any premises or his agent to let the whole or part of the premises with the knowledge that it is to be used, in whole or in part, as a brothel, or, where the whole or part of the premises is used as a brothel, to be wilfully a party to that use continuing.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

35 Tenant permitting premises to be used as brothel. E+W

(1)It is an offence for the tenant or occupier, or person in charge, of any premises knowingly to permit the whole or part of the premises to be used as a brothel.

(2)Where the tenant or occupier of any premises is convicted F9... of knowingly permitting the whole or part of the premises to be used as a brothel, the First Schedule to this Act shall apply to enlarge the rights of the lessor or landlord with respect to the assignment or determination of the lease or other contract under which the premises are held by the person convicted.

(3)Where the tenant or occupier of any premises is so convicted, F10... and either—

(a)the lessor or landlord, after having the conviction brought to his notice, fails or failed to exercise his statutory rights in relation to the lease or contract under which the premises are or were held by the person convicted; or

(b)The lessor or landlord, after exercising his statutory rights so as to determine that lease or contract, grants or granted a new lease or enters or entered into a new contract of tenancy of the premises to, with or for the benefit of the same person, without having all reasonable provisions to prevent the recurrence of the offence inserted in the new lease or contract;

then, if subsequently an offence under this section is committed in respect of the premises during the subsistence of the lease or contract referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection or (where paragraph (b) applies) during the subsistence of the new lease or contract, the lessor or landlord shall be deemed to be a party to that offence unless he shows that he took all reasonable steps to prevent the recurrence of the offence.

References in this subsection to the statutory rights of a lessor or landlord refer to his rights under the First Schedule to this Act F10....

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

36 Tenant permitting premises to be used for prostitution.E+W

It is an offence for the tenant or occupier of any premises knowingly to permit the whole or part of the premises to be used for the purposes of habitual prostitution. [F11(whether any prostitute involved is male or female)]

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Amendments (Textual)

Powers and procedure for dealing with offendersE+W

37 Prosecution and punishment of offences.E+W

(1)The Second Schedule to this Act shall have effect, subject to and in accordance with the following provisions of this section, with respect to the prosecution and punishment of the offences listed in the first column of the Schedule, being the offences under this Act and attempts to commit certain of those offences.

(2)The second column in the Schedule shows, for any offence, if it may be prosecuted on indictment or summarily, or either, . . . F12 and what special restrictions (if any) there are on the commencement of a prosecution.

(3)The third column in the Schedule shows, for any offence, the punishments which may be imposed on conviction on indictment or on summary conviction, a reference to a period giving the maximum term of imprisonment and a reference to a sum of money the maximum fine.

(4)The fourth column in the Schedule contains provisions which are either supplementary to those in the second or third column or enable a person charged on indictment with the offence specified in the first column to be found guilty of another offence if the jury are not satisfied that he is guilty of the offence charged or of an attempt to commit it, but are satisfied that he is guilty of the other offence.

(5)A provision in the fourth column of the Schedule enabling the jury to find the accused guilty of an offence specified in that provision authorises them, if not satisfied that he is guilty of the offence so specified, to find him guilty of any other offence of which they could find him guilty if he had been indicted for the offence so specified.

(6)Where in the Schedule there is used a phrase descriptive of an offence or group of offences followed by a reference to a section by its number only, the reference is to a section of this Act, and the phrase shall be taken as referring to any offence under the section mentioned.

(7)Nothing in this section or in the Second Schedule to this Act shall exclude the application to any of the offences referred to in the first column of the Schedule—

(a)[F13of [F14section 24 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980] (which relates] to the summary trial of young offenders for indictable offences); or

(b)of [F15subsection (5) of section 121 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980] (which limits the punishment which may be imposed by a magistrates’ court sitting in an occasional courthouse); or

(c)of any enactment or rule of law restricting a court’s power to imprison; or

(d)of any enactment or rule of law authorising an offender to be dealt with in a way not authorised by the enactments specially relating to his offence; or

(e)of any enactment or rule of law authorising a jury to find a person guilty of an offence other than that with which he is charged.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1638. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F16S. 38 repealed (14.10.1991) by Children Act 1989 (c. 41, SIF 20), s. 108(4)(7), Sch. 12 para. 15, Sch.15 (with Sch. 14 paras. 1(1) and 27(4)); S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)

39. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F17E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F17Ss. 12(2)(3), 15(4)(5), 16(2)(3), 39, repealed by Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60, SIF 95), s. 119(2), Sch. 7 Pt. V

Powers of arrest and searchE+W

40. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F18E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

F1941Power of arrest in cases of trading in prostitution, or of soliciting by men.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F1942 Power of search in case of man living on earnings of prostitution.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F1943 Power to search for and remove woman detained for immoral purposes.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

InterpretationE+W

F1944 Meaning of “sexual intercourse”.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F1945 Meaning of “defective”.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

F1946 Use of words “man”, “boy”, “woman” and “girl”. E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

F19[F2046A Meaning of parental responsibility.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]

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Amendments (Textual)

F1947 Proof of exceptions.E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Amendments (Textual)

Part IIE+W+S+N.I. Supplementary

Consequential amendmentsE+W+S+N.I.

48 Amendments of Acts not consolidated. E+W

The enactments mentioned in the first column of the Third Schedule to this Act shall be amended as shown in the second column of that Schedule.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C8The text of s. 48 is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991.

49. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F21E+W+S

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Amendments (Textual)

50 Adaptation of enactments applying to Northern Ireland.E+W+N.I.

(1)In Northern Ireland, a conviction under section thirty-three, thirty-four, thirty-five or thirty-six of this Act shall be taken into account under section three of the M1Criminal Law Amendment Act (Northern Ireland) 1923, in the same way as a conviction under section thirteen of the M2Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F22

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

51. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F23E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

52 Savings, etc.E+W

(1)Nothing in this Act shall affect any previous enactment in its operation in relation to offences under any such enactment committed or partly committed before the commencement of this Act, or in relation to anything done before that commencement under the authority or for the purposes of any such enactment:

F24. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(2)Subject to the provisions of this Act, and in particular to those of the Third Schedule, any reference in any document to an enactment repealed by this Act shall be construed as referring, or as including a reference, to the corresponding provision of this Act, so far as may be necessary to prevent this Act altering the substantial effect of the document.

(3)Without prejudice to the last foregoing subsection any reference in any document to an offence under an enactment repealed by this Act, if it referred, or included a reference, to an attempt to commit an offence under such an enactment, shall be construed as referring, or as including a reference, to an attempt to commit the corresponding offence under this Act, so far as may be necessary to prevent this Act altering the substantial effect of the document.

(4)The inclusion in this Act of any express saving or amendment shall not be taken as prejudicing the operation of section thirty-eight of the M3Interpretation Act 1889 (which relates to the effect of repeals).

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Amendments (Textual)

F24Words in s. 52(1) repealed (21.7.2008) by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 2008 (c. 12), Sch. 1 Pt. 3

Marginal Citations

53 Construction of references to enactments.E+W

Except in so far as the context otherwise requires, any reference in this Act to any other enactment shall be taken as referring to that enactment as amended by any subsequent enactment, including this Act.

54 Extent.E+W

(1)This Act shall not extend to Scotland, F25. . ..

(2)This Act shall not extend to Northern Ireland, except section fifty F25. . ..

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Amendments (Textual)

F25Words in s. 54(1)(2) repealed (5.11.1993) by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1993 c. 50, s. 1(1), Sch. 1 Pt. I Gp. 1

55 Short title.E+W

This Act may be cited as the Sexual Offences Act 1956.

56 Commencement.E+W

This Act shall come into force on the first day of January, nineteen hundred and fifty-seven.

SCHEDULES

Section 35.

FIRST SCHEDULEE+W Rights of Landlord where Tenant convicted of

permitting use of premises as BrothelE+W

1Upon the conviction of the tenant or occupier (in this Schedule referred to as “the tenant”), the lessor or landlord may require the tenant to assign the lease or other contract under which the premises are held by him to some person approved by the lessor or landlord.E+W

2If the tenant fails to do so within three months, the lessor or landlord may determine the lease or contract (but without prejudice to the rights or remedies of any party thereto accrued before the date of the determination).E+W

3Where the lease or contract is determined under this Schedule, the court by which the tenant was convicted may make a summary order for delivery of possession of the premises to the lessor or landlord.E+W

4The approval of the lessor or landlord for the purposes of paragraph 1 of this Schedule shall not be unreasonably withheld.E+W

5This Schedule shall have effect subject to the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions Acts 1920 to 1939, the M4Furnished Houses (Rent Control) Act 1946, Part II of the M5Reserve and Auxiliary Forces (Protection of Civil Interests) Act 1951, and Part I of the M6Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 [F26Part I of the Housing Act 1988 and Schedule 10 to the Local Government and Housing Act 1989].E+W

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Amendments (Textual)

Marginal Citations

Section 37.

SECOND SCHEDULEE+W Table of offences, with mode of prosecution, punishments, etc.

Part IE+WFelonies and attempts of felonies

OffenceMode of ProsecutionPunishmentProvisions as to alternative verdicts etc.
1. F27. . .. . .. . .. . .
2. F27. . .. . .. . .. . .
3. F27. . .. . .. . .. . .
4. F27. . .. . .. . .. . .
5. F27. . .. . .. . .. . .
6. F27. . .. . .. . .. . .
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Amendments (Textual)

Part IIE+WOffences other than felonies and attempts at felonies

OffenceMode of ProsecutionPunishmentProvisions as to alternative verdicts etc.
7. F27. . .. . .. . .
8. F27. . .. . .. . .
9. F27. . .. . .. . .
10. F27. . .. . .. . .
11. F27. . .. . .. . .
12. F27. . .
13. F27. . .. . .. . .
14. F27. . .. . .. . .
15. F27. . .. . .. . .
16. F27. . .. . .. . .
17. F27. . .. . .. . . . . .
18. F27. . .. . .. . .
19. F27. . .. . .. . .
20. F27. . .. . .. . .
21. F27. . .. . .. . .
22. F27. . .. . .. . .
23. F27. . .. . .. . .
24. F27. . .. . .. . .
25. F27. . .. . .. . .
26. F27. . .. . .. . .
27. F27. . .. . .. . .
28. F27. . .. . .
29. F27. . .. . .
30. F27. . .. . .
31. F27. . .. . .
32. F27. . .. . .
33. Keeping a brothel (section thirty-three)Summarily F28...

For an offence committed after a previous conviction, six months, or two hundred and fifty pounds, or both; otherwise, three months, or one hundred pounds, or both.

A conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-four, thirty-five or thirty-six of this Act, or under section thirteen of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the section replaced for England and Wales by sections thirty-three to thirty-six of this Act), shall be taken into account as a previous conviction in the same way as a conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-three of this Act.

[F2933A. Keeping a brothel used for prostitution (section 33A).

(i) on indictment

(ii) summarily

Seven years

Six months, or the statutory maximum, or both.]

34. Letting premises for use as a brothel (section thirty-four)Summarily F28...

For an offence committed after a previous conviction, six months, or two hundred and fifty pounds, or both; otherwise, three months, or one hundred pounds, or both.

A conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-three, thirty-five or thirty-six of this Act, or under section thirteen of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the section replaced for England and Wales by sections thirty-three to thirty-six of this Act), shall be taken into account as a previous conviction in the same way as a conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-four of this Act.

35. Tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel (section thirty-five)Summarily F28...

For an offence committed after a previous conviction, six months, or two hundred and fifty pounds, or both; otherwise, three months, or one hundred pounds, or both.

A conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-three, thirty-four or thirty-six of this Act, or under section thirteen of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the section replaced for England and Wales by sections thirty-three to thirty-six of this Act), shall be taken into account as a previous conviction in the same way as a conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-five of this Act.

36. Tenant permitting premises to be used as for prostitution (section thirty-five)SummarilyF28...

For an offence committed after a previous conviction, six months, or two hundred and fifty pounds, or both; otherwise, three months, or one hundred pounds, or both.

A conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-three, thirty-four or thirty-five of this Act, or under section thirteen of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 (the section replaced for England and Wales by sections thirty-three to thirty-six of this Act), shall be taken into account as a previous conviction in the same way as a conviction of an offence punishable under section thirty-six of this Act.

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Amendments (Textual)

F29Sch. 2 para. 33A inserted (1.5.2004) by Sexual Offences Act 2003 (c. 42), ss. 55(3), 141; S.I. 2004/874, art. 2

Section 48.

Third ScheduleE+W+S+N.I. Consequential Amendments of Enactments not Consolidated.

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C9The text of Sch. 3 is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991.

Enactment and Subject matterAmendment
. . . F30 . . . F30
The Children and Young Persons Act, 1933.
. . . F31 . . . F31
Subsection (2) of section ninety-nine (Presumption as to the truth of allegations about a person’s age in a charge or indictment).for the words “except an offence under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885” there shall be substituted the words “except as provided in that Schedule”.
First Schedule (Offences to which special provisions of the Act apply).Immediately before the last entry there shall be inserted the following entry:— “Any offence against a child or young person under any of the following sections of the Sexual Offences Act, 1956, that is to say sections two to seven, ten to sixteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-two to twenty-six and twenty-eight, and any attempt to commit against a child or young person an offence under section two, five, six, seven, ten, eleven, twelve, twenty-two or twenty-three of that Act: Provided that for the purposes of subsection (2) of section ninety-nine of this Act this entry shall apply so far only as it relates to offences under sections ten, eleven, twelve, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, twenty and twenty-eight of the Sexual Offences Act, 1956 and attempts to commit offences under sections ten, eleven and twelve of that Act.”
The Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1952.For the words “under section one of the Vagrancy Act, 1898” there shall be substituted the words “under section thirty, thirty-one or thirty-two of the Sexual Offences Act, 1956”.
The Visiting Forces Act, 1952.
Paragraph 1 of the Schedule (Offences not triable by United kingdom courts in the cases provided for by section three of the Act).At the end of sub-paragraph (b) there shall be added as a new paragraph (viii):— “(viii) sections two to twenty-eight of the Sexual Offences Act 1956.”
. . . F32
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F30Sch. 3 entry relating to Extradition Act 1873 repealed by Extradition Act 1989 (c. 33, SIF 48), s. 37, Sch. 2

F31Sch. 3 entry relating to s. 15 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 repealed by Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60, SIF 95), s. 119(2), Sch. 7 Pt. V and expressed to be repealed (5.11.1993) by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1993 c. 50, s. 1(1), Sch. 1 Pt. I Gp.1

F33F33SCHEDULE 4E+W

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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